Monday, October 19, 2020
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and refreshments will be served and there will be a time of Sharing at 7:30 PM.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a warm smile and a generous heart, Christine Osborn lived a life rich in family and friends. Christine welcomed every person as a friend and each day as a gift. She dedicated her life to the good care of others and loved nothing more than reflecting the goodness she so easily saw in them. A lifelong learner, Christine embodied the principles of her faith, finding strength and humor in even the darkest of times. In doing so, she proved a powerful role model of how to live a wholehearted life for all who were blessed to know her.
After years of misery brought on by the Great Depression and World War II, 1949 marked significant postwar prosperity as sales of cars, televisions, and other goods were demanded by a consumer society. The establishment of NATO, the first sale of a VW Beetle in the US, the first successful television sitcom, and the first Polaroid camera marked 1949 as a year of hope, growth, and consumerism. The nation’s focus was on family and building a brighter future. Nowhere was their more hope than in the Minneapolis, Minnesota home of Louis and Dorothy (Howard) Busch as they welcomed their daughter Christine to their family on December 17.
The youngest of the three Busch girls, Christine grew up in the good company of her older sisters, Marti and Kathy. While her father worked as a salesman, her mother worked as a hairdresser. In time, the family moved to Kalamazoo, where Christine grew up and attended school. With natural gifts for the performing arts, Christine was very active in theatre. She first took the stage with the Kalamazoo Jr. Civic Theatre and remained active in theatre throughout her life.
Christine was a strong student who proudly graduated from Loy Norrix High School’s class of 1968. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at Western Michigan University and completed her studies in just three years. She later earned her Masters Degree from Marygrove College.
Growing up just two houses from Tim Osborn, the pair rarely spent time with one another throughout their childhoods. Tim was more a wild boy as opposed to Christine being more straight and narrow. By chance, they had a first date, which instantly resulted in romance. Once the spark was lit, the romance quickly led the young couple to the altar at St. Monica Church, where they joyfully exchanged their marriage vows on July 11, 1969.
The newlyweds settled into married life, and in 1974 they entered parenthood with the birth of their son, Jason. Their daughter, Jennifer, followed in 1976, and Melissa completed their family in 1980. Christine enthusiastically welcomed motherhood and all that came with it. She was a very present parent who encouraged her children in all their endeavors. Her “go with the flow” personality meant that it took a lot to upset her. She relished in waking up her teenage children in the morning by playing the piano and singing with her beautiful voice. She maintained an open-door policy that ensured her kids’ friends felt comfortable and completely at home in her house. With her hospitality her family and friends affectionately called her “Camp Chris.” Christine afforded others safe harbor from Life’s storms and many treasured memories. While her children were still at home, the family preferred to vacation close to home, either renting a house or camping in Michigan. When the kids were older, the family took a memorable trip to Disney.
Always willing to give of her time and talents in the service of others, Christine was very active in the Mattawan community, where she and Tim raised their family. She was the first female president of Mattawan Little League, was active for years at St. John Bosco as a member of the St. Rita’s Guild, and continued to take the stage in the Borgess Follies and at the Paw Paw Playhouse, where she made numerous costumes. She loved to sing and had a variety of music that she liked to listen to and sing.
After taking several years off to raise her family, Christine eagerly entered the classroom to teach. She found a home at Lawton Elementary School. There she taught 5th grade for 18 years. A loving and concerned teacher, Christine saw it as her mission to support every child and ensuring their success. She consciously created a loving and safe space for children to take risks, learn, and grow. She loved her job as a teacher and volunteered for many extracurricular activities at the school, spending much of her personal time supporting students outside the classroom too. Unfortunately, Christine was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and left the classroom long before she was ready to officially retire.
Despite the challenges she faced, Christine’s retirement years were spent focusing her energy on her family. She adored and loved to dote on her nine grandchildren. Though every moment spent with her loved ones was treasured, Christine dedicated herself to making Christmas extra-special.
Though our hearts are deeply saddened by the loss of Christine, we find comfort in knowing she is free of the Earthly limitations she faced each day. May we also find comfort in carrying her beautiful legacy forward in our own lives. With each moment we welcome others into the sanctuary of our home, sing with abandon, encourage others to reach for their dreams, or freely give of our talents, we celebrate the many ways Christine gifted us. In this way, we keep her bright spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us. Christine Osborn passed away on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at Bronson Commons in Mattawan. She is survived by her husband, Tim, and her 3 children: Jennifer Sladovnik, Jason (Heather) Osborn, and Melissa Osborn. Other members of her family include her 9 grandchildren: Krystl, Nolan, Rebecca, Abigail, Elijah, McKenna, Brady, Alaura, Skyla, and 2 sisters: Marti (Jim) Vandenburg and Kathy Busch.
An open house with food and refreshments will be held on Monday, October 19, from 5-8 pm with a time of sharing beginning at 7:30 pm at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, 49009. Please visit Christine’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can read her life story, archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of SW Michigan or the Alzheimer’s Association.